An Advanced Soap Making Technique
Is considered an advanced soap making, technique. When making liquid soap it is helpful to have already mastered the cold process method of making soap.
The process for making liquid soap and cold process soap are the same until the soaps reach trace. At trace, cold process soap goes into the mold, where liquid soap continues on with a hot process.
This Liquid Soap Making Tutorial takes up where Cold Process Soap Making leaves off.
Learning to make cold process soap will prepare you for making this hot process liquid soap. If you have not already, and would like to learn to make cold process soap we have a Cold Process Soap Making Tutorial here.
We have worked very hard at providing an accurate and informative tutorial and have personal success following these steps.
But due to the fact that each user may interpret our words in ways that we did not intend we cannot guarantee that you will have the same success as we have.
Also, each person will add their own twits on every aspect, it is human nature. While we are all human and can only move and work in certain ways, no two people will do everything exactly as anyone else. So there is no guarantee that anyone will get the same results, but we hope you will.
Please be careful and give this the due diligence that it requires, meaning do your own research before you begin to make soap.
Take Safety Precautions seriously. Soap making can be hazardous if you do not use properly handling and employ safety equipment when and where it is needed.
If you have any questions please ask them below in our comments section, we check out website at least daily or more often and will answer questions asap.
Liquid soap making just as in, cold process soap making, requires patience. It can take up to 1 hour to reach trace, then 5-6 hours for the hot process, plus the time it takes for the soap paste to dissolve, which could take a few hours to a few days.
For my first batch of liquid soap I used the double boiler method. Now I use the oven method. In the oven method the soap is made in a stainless steel pot and after it reaches trace the lid is put on it and it is placed in a hot oven to process. I think the oven method is cleaner, because there is no hot water to deal with as in the double boiler method. The hardest part of making liquid soap is being patient and not jumping the gun and adding to much water when you dilute the paste.
Formulating Liquid Soap Recipes
Most liquid soap making instructions advise to add more lye than is needed to fully saponify the oils, and fats used in a liquid soap recipe. Then when the soap is finished you have to adjust the ph by neutralizing the excess lye. The reason that they do this is to prevent free fatty acids in the finished soap, the thinking is that free fatty acids cause the finished liquid soap to become cloudy.
Because I am a known super-super fatter, meaning that I super fat my soap recipes far more than most soap makers. I found the idea of adding excess lye in a soap recipe hard to do.
Just so you know, I did not start out a that way but was lead to do so based on my own study of soap making, and because of the comments from more experiences soap makers, I experimented with higher and higher levels of excess fats, and continued to get soap. What I found was my soaps were becoming milder and milder.
So when I began to make liquid soap, it did not make sense to me to add excess lye. But it was not an easy decision to make. When I was new at making liquid soap, I was not sure if super fatting would help or hurt the soap, and did not want to waste any ingredients, or have a cloudy soap. But I just could not get over the notion that not super-fatting would be going backwards.
So I read and re read Catherine Failors Making Natural Liquid Soaps and finally found another reason for cloudy soap, “UNSAPIBLES”. Unsapibles would make a soap cloudy, so what are Unsapibles?
Unsapibles are the components of oils and butters, that do not fully saponify when used to make soap. These unsabibles usually add a measure of mildness to a soap. Many soap makers like to use them to buffer the harshness of a recipe, they are wonderful used in a bar soap recipe.
On the other hand when making liquid soap adding these butters and oils will make your soap cloudy. For the clearest soap avoid these; Shea Butter, Tallow, Cocoa Butter, Palm, Avocado, & Pomace Olive Oil, because they have high unsapibles.
And add more of these; Safflower, Castor, Olive, and Coconut because they have the least unsapibles, and will give you the clearest soap possible.
According to Catherine Failor’s
Cocoa Butter – 24% palmaitic acid, 35% stearic acid
Palm – 40% palmaitic acid, 5% stearic acid
Tallow – 28% palmaitic acid, 25% stearic acid
Castor Oil – 2% palmaitic acid, 1% stearic acid
Coconut Oil – 7% palmaitic , 5 stearic
Olive Oil – 7% palmaitic , 2 stearic
Safflower Oil – 0 palmatic, 0 stearic
All liquid soap recipes would do well to have a measure of Coconut oil in its formulation because according to Catherine Failor, “coconut oils predominant fatty acid, lauric acid causes soap to be soluble.
When used in making liquid soap, it makes it easier to dilute your soap paste. Also because of being more soluble there is less potential for cloudiness in the finished soap”.
As most soap makers know, “one drawback of using coconut oil in soap is its drying effect, this drying effect can be overcome by blending with soft oils, such as olive, canola, or safflower oil.”
It is assumed you already know how to make either cold process solid soap or hot process solid soap. If you haven’t mastered either of those techniques, you can go to our basic soap making page, to learn the basics. Cold Process Soap Making
My First Batch
A rebel at heart, and not wanting to use the already tried and true recipes with excess lye, I formulated my own recipe base on what I had learned. The recipe was high in oils and fats with the lowest unsapibles I could find with a super fat of 10%.
To my surprise the soap came out clear (the reason for excess lye in the first place, is to get a clear soap). What I learned was, the oils have as much to do do with a clear soap as the lye.
If you do not care if your soap is clear, you can add some butters and fats in with higher unsapibles, just expect a soap cloudy soap.
Soap Making Precautions
*This is an advanced soap making process, do not attempt until you have made at least one preferably more batches of Cold Process Soap.
*Do not make soap when children, pets, or spouses are present, and can get under foot. Accidents can happen very quickly.
*Never pour liquid into your dry lye; always pour your dry lye into your liquid. Remember: “Snow falls on the water”.
*Always wear your safety gear. Goggles, rubber gloves, vapor mask, long sleeve shirt, long pants, socks & Shoes, when making soap.
*Have vinegar near by in case of splashes and spills. If you get lye water or raw soap on your skin, wipe off raw soap, apply vinegar, then flush area with water, remove any wet or contaminated clothing.
*If you get lye water or raw soap in your eyes, flush with water for 15 minutes, then follow with milk. Being sure to get any wet contaminated clothing off immediately, call your physician asap. Always wear your safety gear.
*Be sure to do a walk through of the area you plan to make your soap in, pick up anything that could get in your way, there should not be anything laying around that could cause you to trip or fumble, include your path way to a well ventilated area, possibly outside.
These are suggestions; Be sure to run them through a lye calculator, just to be sure the numbers are good. I have made liquid soap with each of these. Each recipe is made up of 24oz of oils.
Apricot, Castor, Coconut, Olive
Apricot, Castor, Coconut, Olive
Castor, Coconut, Olive, Safflower
Equipment & Supplies
Many Kitchens will have most of these things, you may only need to purchase a few items.
1. Rubber kitchen gloves
3. Vapor mask
4. Old Clothes, long sleeve shirt, long pants, socks and shoes
5. Good Scale for weighing oils, water & lye, a postal scale works best.
5. A stick blender
6. 4 qt or larger stainless steel pot with oven proof lid (soap pot)
7. 1-2 qt pot for heating distilled water
8. Old cookie sheet, to put under your 4 qt/larger stainless steel pot
9. 1-2 qt plastic pitcher with lid, for mixing lye & water
10. Measuring cup, for measuring water
11. Measuring spoons, stainless steel would be best
12. Heat proof plastic spoon, & or spatula
13. Funnel large enough to fit a gallon jug
14. Oven mitts or towels, for moving hot soap pot
15. Recipe, I recommend that you use a recipe with 24ozs of oils
16. KOH Potassium Hydroxide
17. Soap Oils
18. Essential Oils For Scenting
19. Vinegar (neutralizes lye)
20. Gallon distilled water (save empty jug for new soap)
21. Paper Towels
22. Working oven
23. Timer, oven or other
24. Note book, pen/pencil
Read at least 2 times before you begin
1. Gather your equipment & supplies.
2. Adjust your oven rack; so that there is enough head room to get your soap pot & lid in and out of the oven easily, you don?t want to hit anything taking it in and out.
3. Put old cookie sheet on the rack you are going use for your soap pot.
4. Put on your “safety gear”, gloves, goggles, mask, long clothes, socks & shoes.
5. Measure distilled water, into a 1-2 quart plastic pitcher, set in well ventilated area, or outside in a safe child/pet proof place.
6. Measure lye (KOH Potassium Hydroxide), take it to your well ventilated area, where you left the pitcher of water, carefully pour dry lye into plastic container of water, making sure any lye pieces stuck to the container get scraped into the water, mix gently with heat proof spoon/spatula. Turn your head away, do not breathe the fumes, even through your mask. These first fumes are strongest. Cover pitcher with lid, leave container of lye water in the well ventilated area.
7. Measure Soap Oils, into your soap pot.
8. Put the soap pot with oils on the stove and turn it on low to melt the oils.
9. Stir your pot of oils, and once all the oils are melted and you don?t see any chunks, or particles, turn off the burner, and move the pot to the kitchen sink.
10. Get out your stick blender and plug into a near by outlet.
11. Have paper towels, and vinegar handy, in case of spills.
12. Now very carefully go get your plastic pitcher with the lye water. Remember no animals, kids or spouses.
13. Remove lid or adjust opening, pour lye water very carefully into your melted oils, and mix with heat proof spoon or spatula. Mix carefully so that you do not splash any oil or lye out of pot. Still wearing safety gear, right?
14. Once the oils and lye are mixed by hand, get your stick blender, and begin blending your oils and lye water.
15. Now you can take off your vapor mask. Mix 5 minutes on and 10 minutes off with stick blender till your soap thickens to a thin pudding consistency, or until you can leave a tracing on the surface of the soap mix. It could take awhile, mine traced in about 30 minutes. You should be taking notes as you go; time started, when traced, what it looked liked at different times, any thing you want to remember. Don?t forget; use the timer.
16. Once your soap has traced, preheat your oven to 245 degrees.
NO BASIC PICTURES
Because Liquid Soap Making is an Advanced Soap Making Process I am not including pictures of the steps that are identical to Cold Process Soap Making.
If you do not know how to get to this step you need to learn to make Cold Process Soap before making Liquid Soap. Please become familiar making soap with the Cold Process method before you try your hand at Liquid Hot Process…
Very Thick Trace
17. Continue blending 5 on and 10 off till your oven is ready. When oven is preheated, scrap down the insides of the pot, as best as you can, then wipe the insides with clean paper towel. This will help prevent soap from browning on the insides of the pot. Brown soap particles will darken your finished soap. Put lid on pot, and place pot into oven on the cookie sheet, set timer for 20 minutes. Note start time, and record time increments, ex; 1st 20 minutes, 2nd 20 minutes.
18. When timer goes off, with oven mitts or towels in hand, take your pot out of the oven, place on top of stove, and remove lid. Be careful, the pot is going to be very hot.
19. What does your soap look like? Is it separating? Is it puffing up, either way stick blend till all oils are re mixed, and your soap takes on a thick trace consistency, should not take to long. Then scrap down the insides of pot, replace lid, and put back into oven, reset timer for another 20 minutes.
20. When timer goes off, repeat, get your oven mitts or towels, take your pot out, place on stove, remove lid, be careful, stir the soap (no stick blender, use heat proof spoon/spatula), scrape down the insides of pot, replace lid, put back into oven, set timer for another 20 minutes.
21. When timer goes off, continue to remove pot, stir soap, scrape down insides, cover, and put pot back into the oven, reset timer. Use the time increments below:
3x 20 minutes — this is the time period your soap is most likely to boil over.
2x 30 minutes — your soap could still boil over but is less likely.
4x 1 hour — least likely to boil over, but you never know.
Before Paste Stage
Just before the Paste Stage. Notice it looks a little Vaseline like, it will get more clear when it is in full paste stage.
Here I am weighing the paste to get an idea of just how much paste I have.
22. After cooking your soap for 6 hours, your soap is now a thick sticky paste. It is time to begin diluting the paste. If you have used a recipe with 24 ozs of oil, do this; measure 32 ozs distilled water, in a separate pot bring to a boil (don’t let it keep boiling, it will evaporate too much of the water) then pour boiling water into soap. If you haven’t already, turn oven off, stir soap, make sure to loosen any soap paste on the bottom of the pot, cover & return to the oven. Leave for 12 hours or overnight. Note date & time in oven how much water you added.
When it comes to diluting soap paste our goal is to add as little water as possible, making for a nice thick liquid. More water thinner soap. That is why we add dilution water in stages, and only if necessary. It takes a little more time, but the finished product will be worth it.
Diluting The Paste
23. After 12 hours look at your soap, what do you see? Is the soap paste dissolved, or are there small pieces of soap paste left? If your soap paste is disolved jump to #26. Are there large chunks of soap paste left? Do this, set your oven temp to 245, measure 16 ozs of distilled water, in a separate pot bring to a boil, pour boiling water into soap, stir soap, make sure to loosen any soap paste on bottom of pot, cover & return to oven, set timer for 1 hour. After an hour, turn oven off, remove pot, stir soap, cover pot & return to oven for another 12 hours or over night. Note progress, & how much water you added.
24. After 12 hours, what does your soap look like? Is it dissolved or are there small pieces of soap paste left? If so jump to #26. If you still have a lot of un-dissolved soap paste. Do this, set your oven temp to 245, measure 8 ozs of distilled water, in a separate pot bring to a boil, pour boiling water into soap, stir soap, make sure to loosen any soap paste on bottom of pot, cover & return to oven, set timer for 1 hour. After an hour, turn the oven off, remove the pot and stir the soap, cover pot & return to oven for 12 hours. Note progress, & how much water you added.
25. After 12 hours, Is your soap paste dissolved enough to pour into a gallon jug? If so jump to #26. If not repeat above, set your oven temp to 245, measure 4 ozs of distilled water, in a separate pot bring to a boil, pour boiling water into soap, stir soap, make sure to loosen any soap paste on bottom of pot, cover & return to oven, set timer for 1 hour. After an hour, turn oven off, remove pot, stir soap, cover pot & return to oven for another 3-4 hours, in 3-4 hours soap is still not dissolved enough to pour into a gallon jug, wait 24 hours before adding any more water. Note progress, & how much water you added.
26. When soap paste is dissolved enough to pour into a gallon jug, add the essential oils. The soap should still be warm, if not, warm it up on the stove, on low. Once soap is warm, measure your essential oil. I would recommend that you start with 1/2 oz of Lavender or Mint, or 1/8 to 1/4 oz of Lemongrass or Palmarosa essential oil because they are stronger. You can add more later if you choose. Be sure to give the soap a few days before deciding to add more scent, hot process soap does not need as much as cold process. Note what & how much you used.
1-fl oz=2 tbsp 1/2-fl oz= 1 tbsp 1/4-fl oz=1/2 tbsp
27. Now you can transfer you new soap to a new clean gallon plastic jug. I use the empty distilled water containers, they work great, and they are new and clean. No need to wash them; just make sure all the water is out. Using your funnel, pour your soap into the jug, if there are a few small chunks of soap paste left make sure they get into the jug too.
28. Label The Soap. On jug write with permanent marker, date, oils, super fat, amount of water used, the scent and how much.
Take a large plastic funnel, with a knife, cut off the narrow part of the funnel, making the opening closer to the size of the water jug opening. Keep this funnel for making liquid soap.
Sequestering or Curing
Let your liquid soap cure for at least 4 weeks, it will make a milder soap. It will also help if you find your liquid soap is not as clear as you would like to give it some time, liquid soap often will settle and the particulates that cause cloudiness, will either rise as scum, or settle out. If you find a white scum floating on the top, you can skim it off.
Many liquid soap recipes use excess lye, thus making neutralizing necessary. If you have formulated your liquid soap recipe with a super fat neutralizing would become unnecessary.
Finished Liquid Soap
Next Step Making Transparent Soap
Once you master making liquid soap, you might challenge yourself and learn to make Transparent Soap, some call it Glycerin Soap…
I personally have not learned to make transparent glycerine soaps, but maybe one day I will…
See Our Other Soap Making & Body Care Posts Below
Let Me Know What You Think
I would love to hear what you think about Liquid Soap Making, please leave me a comment or question below… Thank you for visiting. 🙂